Weekly Shear Care – Edgewise Sharpening & Pro Tools

Weekly Shear Care

In a previous post, titled "Daily Salon Shear Care", we detailed the daily attention and care hairstylists and barbers should give to their scissors. In this post we will outline the quick and easy steps stylists should also follow at the end of the week to keep their shears cutting and functioning properly. These steps are as follows:
  • Check that your shears are properly adjusted:
1. Hold the shears in front of you by the finger ring with no finger rest, and with the tips pointing straight up
2. Open the shears completely, by lifting the blade with the finger rest so that it forms a cross (so the two blades are exactly perpendicular to each other)
3. Let the blade with the finger rest go, allowing the two blades to fall shut
4. The blades should drop a third to halfway shut
5. If the shears do not close at all, they are too tight, and should be loosened slightly
6. If the two blades fall most or all the way closed, they are too loose, and should be tightened slightly
7. After loosening or tightening the shears slightly, check them again (as described above) and continue tightening and/or loosening until the tension is correct (that is, they drop a third to halfway shut)
  • Check that the stopper between the two finger rings of your shear is there, and that it isn't loose. If the finger rings are clicking together, this is an excellent indicator that the stopper is missing, worn, or loose. [I'll cover the stopper in another post, but if the stopper is missing, the shears will be very dangerous to use (for both you and your client)! Stop using them immediately and call your sharpener, or send them out for service.]
  • If your shears have a removable finger rest, check that it is screwed in securely.
  • Look at the tips of the shears. Do they line up? Are they too pointy or sharp (do they cut you or your client)? Is there a small gap between the blades at the tip? All of these can affect the way you cut, and the way your shears feel when you cut. Most of these can be easily fixed by a qualified, professional sharpener, who specializes in beauty shears.
  • How do the shears cut? You should be constantly evaluating how your shears cut as you work, but think about this at least once a week. If you're finding your hands and arms are fatigued at the end of the day, if you're having troubles cutting a straight line (because the hair is pushing towards the tips of the shears as you cut), if you're getting folding or pulling of the hair, you should be looking to have your shears sharpened soon. 

These simple week-end steps will ensure your shears are functioning properly which will maximize your longevity in the beauty industry, will allow you to serve your clients in the best way possible, will maximize the life of your shears, and will help keep at bay repetitive hand motion injuries so many stylists and barbers struggle with.

 


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